A Guide To Home Inspection Costs In 2023
Ashley Kilroy5-minute read
November 11, 2023
Home inspections can bring to light any potential issues with a home and help future homeowners determine whether a property is a wise investment. Uncovering issues during the home buying process can either lower the home's sale price or deter you from buying it altogether.
While buying a home is a significant expense, skipping the inspection can cost you a lot of money down the road. Learn more about the average cost of a home inspection.
How Much Does The Average Home Inspection Cost?
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What Determines The Cost Of A Home Inspection?
Three primary factors typically determine how much a home inspection costs: location, square footage and the inspector.
Home inspection costs vary by location. Below are some examples of average home inspection costs in different cities across the U.S., according to HomeAdvisor:
- Trento, New Jersey: $430
- Hartford, Connecticut: $489
- Boston, Massachusetts: $411
- Chicago, Illinois: $321
- Houston, Texas: $347
- Los Angeles, California: $323
- Detroit, Michigan: $294
The square footage of a home is vital in determining how much a home inspection can cost. Inspectors use the size of your home to estimate how much time and work is needed. For a home that’s less than 1,000 square feet, a home inspector may charge around $200. Homes over 2,000 square feet may cost $400 or more depending on the home’s features.
When you contact an inspector for an estimate, they’ll want the total square footage. Include your basement, attic, or porch space in the square footage calculation. If you’re unsure, provide details about your property, such as the number of rooms, bathrooms and floors.
National Average For Home Inspection Costs By Square Footage
Below are the averages for home inspection costs based on home size, according to Thumbtack:
Less than 1,000
1,000 – 1,500
1,501 – 2,000
2,001 – 2,500
2,501 – 3,000
3,001 – 3,500
Depending on the professional home inspector you choose, they may quote different prices for the job. In addition, the inspector’s experience, knowledge and depth of inspection will influence your price. Therefore, it’s best to gather several quotes to identify the right professional for the job. Consider researching home inspectors who are part of professional associations like the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) and the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI). Being a member of a professional association is a strong signal that a home inspector follows a strict code of ethics and standards of practice. Additionally, it shows that they likely take continuing education courses.
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What’s Included In A Home Inspection?
A home inspection checks the condition of a property’s structure and determines how well a home’s major systems work. During the inspection process, inspectors will usually examine the:
- Electrical system
- HVAC system
- Structural systems such as the foundation and drainage
- Appliances like the microwave, dishwasher, range and oven
What Is A Special Home Inspection?
A special home inspection is a home inspection that goes beyond a general inspection. In other words, home inspectors check for additional issues such as radon, termite damage or mold. Although the tests may be expensive, this professional expertise can save you money in costly repairs down the road.
For example, termite damage can cost anywhere between $250 and $37,500 to repair, according to Angi, though the average cost is $3,000. Whereas adding a termite inspection may cost between $50 and $280. Therefore, conducting a termite inspection could save you hundreds or even tens of thousands of dollars.
How much does a special home inspection cost?
The price of a special home inspection depends on the location, the scope of work and the professional. Here is a list of some special home inspections and their average cost to help anticipate the price:
- Asbestos testing: $230 – $790
- Foundation inspection: $340 – $720
- Mold testing: $300 – $990
- Radon testing: $155 – $700
- Termite inspection: $50 – $280
- Sewer scope: $250 – $1,340
Is The Cost Of A Home Inspection Worth It?
Home inspections aim to uncover problems with a home. For example, if a home has roof damage, mold or septic system issues, you must decide whether it’s worth the repair costs. While a home inspection is optional, forgoing one may cost you thousands of dollars if you discover issues after you close.
For example, a home you're interested in has multiple offers, so you decide to waive a home inspection to make your offer more attractive. Then, several months after you purchase the home, you discover it has a faulty foundation that will cost over $10,000 out of pocket to repair.
It's easy to fall in love with a home, but the home may have underlying issues. Completing a thorough home inspection ensures you spot any issues in advance. Remember, if you discover problems with the home, you can ask the seller to pay for repairs or lower the home's purchase price so you don't pay out of pocket.
Home Inspection Cost FAQs
Get answers to some popular home buyer questions about inspection costs below.
Who pays for a home inspection?
The home buyer is typically responsible for home inspection costs. However, depending on the situation, you can ask the seller to pay for inspection costs as part of the home sale.
Can I choose my home inspector?
You can typically choose your home inspector. However, your real estate agent may have several solid recommendations to start you off on the right foot. While you don’t have to use one of their recommendations, you may want to contact them to compare your options. You can also ask your friends and family for referrals to determine which home inspector suits your needs.
How long does it take to complete a home inspection?
The average time it takes to complete a home inspection is usually about 2.5 hours. But the actual time will depend on the home’s square footage and the number of rooms. Remember, most inspectors often have to review hundreds of components in a home, which is why home inspections are lengthy.
Does a home inspection cost the same as a home appraisal?
According to HomeAdvisor, the national average for a home appraisal ranges between $313 and $422 and the average home inspection typically costs between $281 and $402. Just like with a home inspection, your appraisal costs can vary depending on the size, the location and the condition of your home.
Is a home inspection included in closing costs?
Closing costs usually don’t include home inspections since they’re optional. Even though it’s an optional service, a home inspection is highly recommended since it uncovers issues with the home. Uncovering defects and repairs before you buy a home may sway your purchasing decision one way or the other.
The Bottom Line
While it can be tempting to skip the home inspection to save money during the home buying process, remember that a home inspection is an investment that will pay off in the future. Without one, you risk unwanted, costly surprises that you can avoid upfront with a simple yet essential home inspection.
If you’re in the market for a new home, start your mortgage application today with Rocket Mortgage®.
*All costs listed are up to date as of September 20, 2023.
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